Vendors have debated the most cost effective way to deploy SD-WAN to users outside of the branch office.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

December 9, 2021

3 Min Read
Home Office
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HPE’s Aruba extended its SD-WAN solution to home workers.

The networking vendor this week unveiled EdgeConnect Microbranch. The extension of Aruba’s existing EdgeConnect platform connects home office and small office workers to company IT resources through a single Wi-Fi access point. Remote users do not need a gateway, agent or additional hardware.

Aruba’s new release taps into the reputation it has built around remote access solutions. For example, last year Aruba teamed up with Comcast to connect remote workers using its cloud-native Edge Services (ESP) platform. Now customers running ArubaOS 10 with a Foundation Access Point license will get access to the EdgeConnect Microbranch offering in March 2022.

SD-WAN demand was growing rapidly in the years leading up to 2020. However, the pandemic and the ensuing work-from-home movement raised questions about the traditional SD-WAN delivery model. With unprecedented number of workers operating out of their own homes, experts wondered how a branch-based technology like SD-WAN could cover each of the workers in a cost-effective manner. Nonetheless, customers can benefit from how SD-WAN prioritizes and segments network traffic and reduces latency. IDC estimates that 70% of G2000 organizations will distribute their employees remotely or in a hybrid fashion. SD-WAN helps home networks support the constant video conferencing and bandwidth demands that come with remote work.

Moreover, remote workers need to reap the benefits of the secure access service edge (SASE). SASE integrates advanced security and networking features into the same platform and helps businesses affordably secure distributed workers.

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650 Group’s Chris DePuy

“As remote working continues to expand, IT departments are facing an increasing number of challenges, such as ensuring visible, easily managed, and highly secure access for all workers – no matter where they are located – to business-critical applications and data,” said Chris DePuy, technology analyst at 650 Group. “Being able to extend zero trust and SASE security frameworks to home and remote offices will play an important role as enterprises move their hybrid work initiatives forward.”

Background

Some providers, like SimpleWAN (through an edge device) and Adaptiv Networks (through software), have already been offering home-based SD-WAN solutions. Aruba executives said they are taking a cloud-based, rather than hardware-based approach.

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Aruba’s Larry Lunetta

“EdgeConnect Microbranch gives organizations a modern, scalable approach for enabling remote work and making the home office experience equivalent to being in-office,” said Larry Lunetta, Aruba’s vice president of solutions portfolio marketing. “While some may believe that the only network service that can be extended to the home office AP/router is security – and even that requires an extra box, EdgeConnect Microbranch demonstrates that, with a cloud-based approach, all critical network services can be extended to the home office solely through an access point.”

An early access version is already available to select users. Foundation Access Point licenses cost $145 per access point.

HPE in 2020 acquired SD-WAN provider Silver Peak Systems with the intention of integrating it into the Aruba business unit. Aruba in April unveiled the updated EdgeConnect SD-WAN offering.

HPE/Aruba recently landed in the “leaders” portion of the Gartner WAN Edge Infrastructure Magic Quadrant.

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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